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Plan registration Print Article


As you are planning event registration, please consider the following recommendations. Make sure to adjust your Planner settings, send instructions to your guests, and train your volunteers before event day.

Please click on links below to jump to sections:

      Set up SmartPay registration software
      Pre-event instructions for guests
      Onsite recommendations
      How to set up in Planner
      Name tags and alpha lines
      Live auction paddles 


Whether you're running your own DIY event or will have BidPal staff and equipment onsite, you should familiarize yourself and your volunteers with the SmartPay registration software. If you aren't sure where to start, Setup: SmartPay Anywhere.


Send out registration instructions to your guests via email and/or social media several days prior to the event. Key points to include:

  • Remind guests to bring their charged smartphone for bidding
  • Include a link to your friendly URL 
  • Encourage guests to pre-register and add a credit card

Example Text: We're so excited you can join us on <event date>! We'll be using BidPal for a mobile auction this year, so please remember to charge your smartphone and bring it with you! To save time when you arrive at the event, visit <friendly URL> now and sign in to get registered and add a credit card for speedy registration and checkout. Be sure to provide your mobile phone # in order to receive a one-click login link for easy access to the auction, along with text outbid alerts! Thanks again for supporting <organization> in our mission to <cause>.


Check out our video for general registration best practices!

  • If you have a BidPal Event Manager onsite, your volunteers will be trained 1 hour before registration.
  • We recommend 1 SmartPay terminal/registration line for every 100 guests.
  • Don't train guests on how to use BidPal at registration. Instead, encourage them to ask roaming volunteers if they need assistance.
  • Cell phone # is required to log guest into auction and receive text outbid alerts. 
  • Logging guests in:
    • If guest is using his/her smartphone, enter the guest's info and send a one-click login text from SmartPay.
    • If there is a problem receiving the one-click login via text, use the ACTIONS menu on SmartPay to email the guest a one-click login link instead.
    • If there is a problem receiving one-click login via email, have the guest visit the friendly URL in their browser and click SIGN IN.
      • If the guest has previously attended a BidPal event or pre-registered on your site, they can use their email and password to get logged in.
      • Otherwise, click the "Start here" link at the bottom of the SIGN IN pop up and have them create an account using the email you just entered in SmartPay. Doing this will ensure that the guest is logged in as the same supporter record you just registered in SmartPay, so there is no need to re-enter any contact or credit card info!
  • If the lines get long, consider having volunteers help guests in line go ahead and log into the auction on their smartphones using the friendly URL.
  • To read about the registration workflow volunteers will use, click here.


In myBidPal Planner, navigate to Setup > Mobile Auction > General Settings tab. Set the following fields:

Allow self-registration: When checked, guests can register themselves and log into mobile bidding devices or the kiosk. They will be automatically assigned a bidder #. When unchecked, guests search for their names and are unable to log in if they aren't already in the system.

Registration help text: Enter up to 100 characters of instructional text that will display when logging into mobile bidding devices. Ex. Currently at the event? Please look for a roaming volunteer or visit the help desk. 

Require (First name, last name, phone number, email address): You can require certain fields (first name, last name, phone #, email address) when guests log into the mobile auction. If they do not have these fields populated, they will be required to enter them before being able to log in.

NOTE: This does not apply to registrations on the Giving Center.

Require Re-login code: When checked, guests are required to enter the last 4 digits of their phone # when logging back into the mobile auction. This serves as a security measure to ensure the person is who they say they are. Volunteers can use the event PIN to override the re-login code.

NOTE: Guests clicking on one-click login URL are automatically logged in without the re-login code since the text was sent directly to their phones.

Require credit card: When checked, you can choose which subset of your guests will be required to enter a credit card information before being successfully logged into the mobile auction. Available options include:

  • All Supporters
  • Non-Attendees & Self-Registrations
  • Only Self-Registrations

Tip! You may wish to require credit cards for "All Supporters" for big, public events where guests may bid on items and then leave without paying. Use "Non-Attendees & Self-Registrations" to require credit cards only for remote bidders (not marked as an Attendee) and those not already on your Attendee List.


Alpha Lines: We discourage alpha lines because you can't predict who will show up when, so inevitably some lines will be longer than others.

Distributing Materials by Name: If you are handing out name tags or other materials by name, think about logistics. Can you have a separate table directly behind the registration tables? Volunteers should then work in teams of 2, with 1 at the computer and the other standing behind to grab registration materials.

Name tags: Sticky name tags are messy to peel and distribute; hanging or clip-on name tags are easier to manage. Better yet, have guests grab their printed nametags or write their own at a table after registration.

Separate Registrations: We suggest one stop for all things related to registration! 


To alleviate confusion, be sure the bidder number you assign a guest matches the paddle number they receive for the live auction.

Pre-printed paddles need to be kept in order to prevent volunteers from having to dig and find the right number.

Tip! You can print Live Paddles from myBidPal Planner Reports page. Or, if you have pre-printed programs to hand out, leave the back page blank and have volunteers write the guest's bidder number on the back to use as a paddle.

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